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Build thread: Calfee DIY bamboo kit

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Build thread: Calfee DIY bamboo kit

Old 03-09-17, 07:06 AM
  #51  
Canaboo
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You can relieve a large portion of bamboo to gain clearance as long as your wrapping covers the spots.
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Old 03-14-17, 08:15 AM
  #52  
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Nothing to report except check out Craig himself showing off this electric model:
Photos: 2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show takes off at Salt Palace | The Salt Lake Tribune
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Old 03-24-17, 04:00 PM
  #53  
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No updates in a while... but it's not out of my mind.

This is a mockup of a fixture for the bottom bracket and dropouts. I want to start from here because I'm so worried about tire clearance. It's much different from Calfee's. I think I'm going to build it like this, cut it to 8" wide, and then put shelf brackets on it to put it 90deg and 4" centerline from the plan. This specific version didn't quite work for a couple of reasons. First because the 1-1/2" angle iron has holes that are at 1", not 3/4" from the angle, and so I can't get the 5-1/2" spacing I need (the difference between 5-1/2" and 135mm can be cheated with the hole clearances). I could get the right spacing with the angles set outside the dropouts, but then the whole stackup is too wide. The other reason is that the fold in the angle iron is not square. I think I saw some 1.5" box section that should fix both problems. That mounted on 4" centers should do it.

The fitting shown is for 2" pipe. 2" pipe is actually 2.375" and that's just over the size of a regular MTB tire, so a fitting that goes around that should be 2-3/4", perfect to set the clearance. I wanted to use a piece of 2-1/2" pipe which is really 2.875", but I couldn't find any. It's an oddball size.

I'm back to debating whether to use 29er or 27.5 wheels. The latter are becoming more prevalent and easier to find cheap tubeless versions; it also makes the tire clearance easier, both in the angle of the chain stays, and behind the seat tube. When I look at the Marin Bobcat Trail geometry, the 27.5" version spends the reduced stack to add some reach.


Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
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Old 03-25-17, 06:46 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
No updates in a while... but it's not out of my mind.

This is a mockup of a fixture for the bottom bracket and dropouts. I want to start from here because I'm so worried about tire clearance. It's much different from Calfee's. I think I'm going to build it like this, cut it to 8" wide, and then put shelf brackets on it to put it 90deg and 4" centerline from the plan. This specific version didn't quite work for a couple of reasons. First because the 1-1/2" angle iron has holes that are at 1", not 3/4" from the angle, and so I can't get the 5-1/2" spacing I need (the difference between 5-1/2" and 135mm can be cheated with the hole clearances). I could get the right spacing with the angles set outside the dropouts, but then the whole stackup is too wide. The other reason is that the fold in the angle iron is not square. I think I saw some 1.5" box section that should fix both problems. That mounted on 4" centers should do it.

The fitting shown is for 2" pipe. 2" pipe is actually 2.375" and that's just over the size of a regular MTB tire, so a fitting that goes around that should be 2-3/4", perfect to set the clearance. I wanted to use a piece of 2-1/2" pipe which is really 2.875", but I couldn't find any. It's an oddball size.

I'm back to debating whether to use 29er or 27.5 wheels. The latter are becoming more prevalent and easier to find cheap tubeless versions; it also makes the tire clearance easier, both in the angle of the chain stays, and behind the seat tube. When I look at the Marin Bobcat Trail geometry, the 27.5" version spends the reduced stack to add some reach.


Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
Consider mocking up around the actual wheel and tire you want to use. You'll want to bend the tangs on those dropouts . Not sure if that's part of the instructions.
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Old 04-19-17, 12:45 AM
  #55  
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thanks for taking the time going thru this process as I want to build DIY gravel bike
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Old 04-21-17, 08:00 PM
  #56  
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Some minor progress. But I miscalculated and the centerline is at 4.5" instead of 4


Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
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Old 04-21-17, 08:08 PM
  #57  
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Cheap angle iron and pressed peg board are poor tools for alignment purpose. For initial mocking up, sure. But final jigging, no. A stack of washers between the angle iron and the drop out inner faces can help set the OLD width. Andy
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Old 04-23-17, 11:36 AM
  #58  
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Yeah, that's the new plan. The 3/8 rod is a looser fit than I wanted, too. The peg board is not too flat either and will likely get glued to MDF. The frame has long sliding dropouts so it might be forgiving in the horizontal plane but not the vertical
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Old 05-06-17, 05:02 PM
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Any updates on this frame?
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Old 05-07-17, 10:37 PM
  #60  
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Not from me. My employer announced plans to close up shop locally by the end of 2018 and move somewhere we don't really want to go, so I'm job hunting in high gear.
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Old 05-08-17, 11:56 AM
  #61  
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tough luck on the job loss. I hope you can find a new job soon. I had bad luck with my current all road bike (road/gravel) last weekend snapping derailleur hanger. This has ramped me up to buy this kit to build my own dedicated gravel bike.
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Old 06-13-17, 10:03 AM
  #62  
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No recent progress to report, but I've kept the kit in my field of view so I don't forget about it. (Not like this DJ Aerotech Chrysalis HLG kit that I just found in my attic from about 1998 and four moves ago!)

I had my eye on a set of wheels via Nashbar that were really nice and just exactly the right amount of obsolete... 27.5 XT M775 wheels with tubeless rims and QR rear, deep clearance to $220. But budget was tight and I failed to bite while the iron was knocking. :-/
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Old 02-25-19, 03:58 PM
  #63  
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*Update*: I moved, and put the kit away for a while. I "finished" it before Thanksgiving, and then discovered that my bottom bracket cup was backwards. I didn't realize they were directional, and the cup that came with the kit had no directional markings. I was very much not excited about having to cut the joint apart, so I put it off again until last month.

This last week, I finally pushed through and set aside the time to wrap it up. After a 16 mile test ride, I have to say - it rides like a dream! The frames compliance in the rough has to be experienced: more supple than steel, but has a similarly sturdy feel to it:



One unexpected quirk with waiting so long is that the the bent chain and seats stays appear to have straightened themselves out over time. It seems like a common issue with bent bamboo that isn't under pressure. I'm ashamed of the terrible hacks used to fit a 29x2.1" in the back, but it seems to be holding.

I'm looking forward to seeing an update from others - especially you, Darth =)

Last edited by helixbikes; 02-25-19 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 02-25-19, 06:06 PM
  #64  
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That looks fantastic!

I only have excuses to offer. We had twins, then we moved. We both work so any spare time spent not actually riding to work has instead been spent doing home stuff.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:30 PM
  #65  
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Darth: Having twins is all the excuse one needs. Take care of them! You'll get your free time back at some point. I can't wait to see what you make of it!

In the mean time, I'll be building a road bike with the https://www.bamboobicycleclub.org/ kit, as Calfee is temporarily out of bamboo stock. For science sake, I'll use their single-use jig, but I plan to use Calfee's mitering technique and probably Calfee's geometry as well.
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Old 02-27-19, 05:06 AM
  #66  
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Kids are more important than framebuilding.
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